“Sobrang nakakilig, nakakatuwa, flattered, at grateful ako kasi pinagkatiwala nila sa akin yung role na ito at yung show na ito.”
These were the words that Ella Cruz uttered when asked about landing the lead role in TV5’s weekly series, Parang Normal Activity, beginning on July 11 (Saturday) at 8PM.
HOW ELLA GOT THE PART. During the presscon of Parang Normal Activity last July 3, director Perci Intalan said that Ella was handpicked to play the role of Charlie, the teenage ghost who will befriend three nerdy boys in her quest to learn her real identity and mysterious cause of death in the show.
“Ang pinakaunang pumasok sa isip namin, we needed somebody na kayang dalhin yung group pero kahit sa simula mahirap kasi hindi alam ng grupo na multo na siya, e.
“Yung characters walang eye contact sa kanya.
“Kaya sabi ni Jun [Lana], kailangan natin marunong umarte, kasi kapag ‘yan nataranta ang strange na walang tumitingin sa kanya, kasi dapat consistent na consistent siya,” Direk Perci explained
The production staff immediately thought of Ella since she starred in Wattpad Presents Hot and Cold last May.
Ella happens to be part of Star Magic, which is ABS-CBN’s talent management arm.
But even though Ella’s connected to the Kapamilya network, she was allowed to work on TV5 since she’s not busy with any full-length teleserye at the moment.
Direk Perci further explained: “So, for Charlie, my production staff has already worked with Ella on Wattpad.
“So when they suggest her for the role, sabi naming, game!
“Then we contacted Star Magic and we’re very thankful to Star magic and also the other talent managers kasi open sila with working with us.
“At malinaw yung relationship namin.”
Ella, for her part, expressed her gratitude to TV5 for entrusting her with a weekend primetime show soon after her short acting stint on Wattpad Presents.
“Kaya ginagawa ko yung best ko.
“Kumbaga, bigla akong napamahal agad sa production nila kasi yung staff nila nakasama ko sa Wattpad.
“Sila Direk Jun, nung nagka-cast na, sobrang natutuwa ako, kasi kakatapos ko lang ng Wattpad, binigyan nila ako ng sariling show agad.
“Tapos sinama pa ako ni Direk Jun sa kanyang Pre-nup movie. Kapatid ako ni Ate Jen [Jennylyn Mercado] dun.”
Asked how she feels that TV5 believes that she can pull off her role as a ghost, Ella answered: “Siyempre iba yung nagbigay sila ng tiwala na gampanan ko yung sabi nga nila mahirap yung role ko na ghost.
“Totoo po yun, yung mga eksena namin, silang tatlo lang yung nakakapag-eye to eye contact ako.
“Yung iba nakikipag-lines ako sa kanila, pero hindi sila nakatingin sa akin, hindi nila ako naririnig.
“So ang tendency inuulit nila yung lines ko. So parang yeah, nandito ako sa eksena, pero sa totoo wala talaga.”
ELLA'S MALE CO-STARS. Ella’s co-stars in Parang Normal Activity include Shaun Salvador, Ryle Paolo Santiago and Andrei Garcia.
She didn’t have a hard time establishing rapport with them since both Ryle and Andrei are also under the roster of Star Magic talents.
“Happy ako sa tatlo kasi sobrang gaan nila katrabaho, sobrang cute nila, ang kulit lang nila sa set.
“Pero ‘pag work na, yung kakulitan nila naa-apply nila sa eksena kasi comedy, e, so ok lang na magdagdag lang sila ng lines, ng kakulitan nila.
“So, ako, nasasakyan ko yung jokes nila.”
As for working with Shaun, Ella described him as the quiet but easygoing type of co-star.
“Although medyo tahimik siya madali naming siyang nakasundo.”
In the story, the characters of Ella (Charlie), Shaun (Third), Ryle (Makoy) and Andrei (Red) get to be the members of the campus ghost-hunting organization called “Paranormal Club.”
Together they will attempt to solve various supernatural occurrences that will be featured in each episode of Parang Normal Activity.
But unknown to the three boys, the biggest mystery lies in the real identity of Ella who happens to be a friendly ghost in the show.
Ella, for her part, gave a few hints about what’s in store for the viewers in Parang Normal Activity.
“Sumasama ako sa pagso-solve ng mystery ng ghosts.
“Katulad ng first episode namin, ‘ghost in a selfie.’
“So, every time na may nagse-selfie sa place na yun, may ghost na lumalabas.
“So kaming tatlo nagse-selfie kami. Tapos ako yung nagbibigay sa kanila ng idea [tungkol sa ghosts] na kaya sila nagpaparamdam kasi meron silang unfinished business.
“Kasi silang tatlo medyo nerdy, medyo kenkoy sila.
“Ako yung pinaka-less na matatakutin. Dapat malaman nila bakit ako yung pinaka hindi natatakot sa group namin.”